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Full scale decentral 2nd generation bioethanol plants

The BioFuel 2nd generation midsized de-centralized bioenergy plants are particularly well suited for rural areas. Here, cheap input substrates for biofuel production are abundant and readily available at minimum transportation costs. The 2nd generation plants use cheap biomass residues (e.g. straw, manure, silage etc.) as input substrates as opposed to 1st generation plants, where expensive food substrates are used (e.g. wheat, sugar cane, corn etc). Midsized plants are bigger and more expensive than individual farm units, but smaller and less expensive than large central plants. They typically have a processing capacity between 100.000 - 150.000 tons of animal slurry and 10-20.000 tons solids. BioFuel Technology’s midsized plants are designed as system modules, which can be built quickly and cheaply, maximizing the use of standard components whenever feasible in close cooperation with key suppliers. The plants are delivered as turn key plants with necessary start-up support services.

 

How does it work?

The typical input to a midsized, decentralized bioethanol and biomethane co-production plant (found in rural areas within a radius of ~ 10 kilometres from the plant) consists of the following:

  • 100.000 m3 of cattle and/or pig slurry, with a content of 8% dry matter (4.000 tons extractable dm)
  • 10.000 tons of straw, with a content of 85% dry matter (8.500 tons dm)
  • 10.000 tons of solid manure with a content of 30% dry matter (3.000 tons dm)

The process starts by extracting the dry matter (dm) from the liquid manure. The dm mainly consists of ligno-cellulose and is bulked with the straw dm also consisting of lignocellulose. The above mentioned figures on dm yield a total of 15.500 tons dm, which is subsequently thermo-chemically pre-treated in order to facilitate the fermentation. Fermenting enzymes, yeast and water are added to the hydrolyzed organic matter. Fermentation and subsequent anaerobic digestion before final refinement of the digestate results in a typical output of bioethanol, biogas (biomethane), fertilizers and clean water in the following way and proportions,

  • 5.000.000 liters of bioethanol. After distillation of bioethanol involving CoMeTas A/S membranes, the remaining liquid (the stillage) is anaerobically digested together with the slurry liquid for the purpose of producing bio-methane thus producing,
  • 2.500.000 m3 of biomethane out of which only a fraction is used in the process. The degassed fermentation liquid is refined with the CoMeTas A/S membrane resulting in the following output of fertilizers and pure water:
  • 2.500 tons of liquid N-fertilizer (25 % N),10.000 tons of solid P-fertilizer (5 % P),
  • 10.000 tons of liquid K-fertilizer (5 % K), and
  • 75.000 m3 of pure water, which does not present an environmental issue. In fact, it may be discharged directly or used as water input in the production / refining process.

The BioFuel Technology A/S utilizes commercial enzymes and micro-organisms in its bioethanol plant. The rapid new findings and developments of microbial candidates as ethanol fermenters make promise for continuous improvement in the fermentation performance of such organisms. The present default choice of BioFuel Technology A/S is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae or “bakers yeast” and modified strains hereof to account for all sugars in the fermentation broth. The commercial suppliers of enzymes also very rapidly improve their enzymes for ethanol production. In the years to come the enzymes performances will further increase and the enzyme cost further decrease.

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The use of low grade waste as pig and cattle slurry and crop residues for bioethanol production is a trade mark of BioFuel Technology A/S.

The default choise of fermenting micro-organisms is the bakers yeast Saccharomyces cervisiae and modified versions hereof. Commercial enzymes are used in the process.

The agricultural waste is co-digested producing bioethanol as the main fuel product and biomethane.